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South Africa: COGTA Still Responsive to Public Needs
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, December 12, 2016
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Knowledge Management in Government, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Dec 12, 2016

He said the department continued to carry out its mandate by turning the local government sector into one that responds to the needs of the people to improve their quality of life.

The annual report showed progress made by COGTA in providing services to communities across the country.

The COGTA Ministry consists of the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG), the Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA) and the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) as a Government component.

The Ministry said the annual report and the actual reporting to the portfolio committee is an important and necessary process of good governance.

The report tabled before the Portfolio Committee also included the status report on municipalities under section 139 of the Constitution and the progress made with finalising transition measures in newly established municipalities.

The Ministry said DCOG has achieved the majority of its planned targets during the period under review.

It said there has been progress in implementing the Back to Basics (B2B) Programme, which is the cornerstone of the department’s interventions at local government.

“During the period under review, the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) coordinated drought intervention plans across the country to address its devastating effects on our country.

“The DTA was also able to reach the majority of its set targets, which the portfolio committee has commended,” said Minister Van Rooyen.

IUDF and CWP

The department also reported on the implementation plan of the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), which will steer urban growth towards a sustainable model of compact, connected and coordinated towns and cities.  

The IUDF has priority actions for the next 18 months on key projects.

With regards to the Community Work Programme (CWP), the department touched on challenges experienced in the implementation of the programme, which led to the audit outcome for DCOG to regress from an unqualified to a qualified audit.

The CWP was initiated as part of the Second Economy Strategy of government to respond to the high levels of poverty and unemployment.

This project, the Ministry said, straddles the whole country with 217 sites (as at 30 September 2016) providing work opportunities to about 200 000 participants.

“The bulk of the irregular expenditure incurred arose as a result of a change in policy, which required that all the CWP assets be accounted for under COGTA. Historically, CWP assets were not recognised as part of DCOG assets, but this changed in the 2015/16 financial year,” said the Minister.

The Portfolio Committee commended the department and urged it to improve on the key issues it raised.

The Minister also invited members of the Portfolio Committee to visit various CWP sites across the country to see first-hand the impact that this programme has on ordinary citizens. 

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